September 2, 2014

Girls Trip – Homer Alaska – Long Weekend

Filed under: Roadtrips,Travel,Wildlife — Susan Stevenson @ 7:29 pm

I love my getaways with my gal pals. These excursions are always so much fun! We get to talk girl talk all weekend long, share many laughs, relax in comfy clothes, and best of all – we share the cost. Sharing the cost is the biggest perk, as this allows us to all have a wonderful time on a budget.

This year, our choice was Homer. After doing a lot of research, I decided that it would be more comfortable (and more cost effective) to choose a rental home rather than a hotel. With four of us traveling together, a hotel would have been much too tight for three nights. We wanted to be able to cook or prepare meals too, as we prefer to pack food to save money on dining out.

I posted on FB that we were planning a Girls Trip to Homer, and received a private message from my friend Stella (who has since moved to CO), recommending the Paradise View Cabin. Stella and two others stayed at Paradise View a few years ago, and really liked the house, the location, and the amenities.

I emailed the owners and received an immediate reply, even though they were still in HI (they are snowbirds) when I contacted them in early spring. They were very accommodating, and even extended us a 10% discount because we are all military family members (RET or Active Duty). When splitting the expense four ways, three nights of lodging was less than $140 each. Totally worth it!

We were on the road very early, as we had to make the drive all the way to Homer in one day. I think all of us were exhausted. I felt bad for Lacey (our driver) as I knew the day would feel even longer to her. The drive to Anchorage is a blur to me. I didn’t pull my camera out at all.

It rained on us most of the way, so there wasn’t really any draw to get out and take photos. However, when we arrived in Cooper Landing – which was a new destination for the others – we stopped to walk down to the lake for a few photos. It was quite overcast, but at least the rain had stopped.

A little further down the road, we made a stop at a boat landing near the Russian River Ferry launch. Across the river we could see fisherman lining the shore. Nothing like what true “combat fishing” is all about, but still a decent amount of hopefuls.

Traffic as we passed through Soldotna was heavier, as expected. We stopped to gas up at the Fred Meyer in town, as we knew that gas in Homer would be much higher priced. Other than that, we barely stopped to stretch our legs. We all just wanted to get to Homer and get out of the car.

I had Lacey stop at the Russian Orthodox Church overlooking Ninilchik. Most of the graves were very overgrown with tall grasses and wildflowers. While some sites appeared to be recently groomed, the majority of the others were almost impossible to get close to, due to grass overgrowth. The last time I visited the church, the grounds were much more tended to. With all the rain we’ve had throughout the state, I imagine there hasn’t been much time to tend to the grounds.

We didn’t stop again until we got to the cabin.

Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing
Russian River fishing Fireweed in the rain A view of Ninilchik from the Russian Orthodox Church above
Ninilchik Grave Marker Ninilchik Grave Marker Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church

Our rental property – Paradise View Cabin – wasn’t hard to find. It had cute curb appeal, and we even passed a cow moose and twin calves on the way up to the house. Almost the entire front half of the house is enclosed in glass. As it should be! The view that stretched out from those windows was magnificent. We could see the airport, the Spit, the float plane pond, and all the way across the bay to the glaciers and mountains. Absolutely breathtaking!